Mar 282014
 

Mawry Haversack, Halfling CommandoNow that I have Oriental’s build all sussed out, I still have one more character in need of immediate character-building attention: Mawry Haversack, the original Halfling Commando, recently completed completionist, and also my main character.

How strange that my main character is the one needing the most attention. But regardless.

I already know what I want her to be able to do when the build is complete. Quoting from an older 2009 blog post:

  • Self-sufficient: she self heals, self buffs, even makes her own ammunition
  • Flexible: She can range, she can melee, she can throw buffs, she can sneak, she can solo. She can’t be the main tank or main healer, but she can do everything else
  • Competent: She is actually good at all of these differing roles. She does them well

She won’t be the best at any one of these things, but I am hoping she can be very good at all of them, good enough to add value even at the extreme fringes of the end game.

In the process, I will be making a great soloing build, but that is not the point. The point is building a great Commando. Specifically, a great Halfling Commando.

I feel confident that the best way to build someone who is very good at ranging and also at melee is a Strength-based Ranger. One could argue instead for Monk, with shurikens and unarmed combat, but I just built an excellent Monk and one is enough. Plus, the Monkcher build is super popular, a Flavor-Of-The-Month, meaning it is probably due for a nerf and I’d rather not have to rebuild Mawry again in two updates.

Also, bow users look cool. Shuriken throwers, not so much.

Worse, I have a certain inner revulsion to playing the same build that everyone else is. Probably just hubris, maybe a little hipster, but regardless, I want to pioneer my own build rather than copycatting one that everyone else is playing.

So back to the mainly-ranger thing: Mawry was originally a 13Ranger/6Fighter/1Wizard and that worked very well for the time. And might again for that matter. I’ve also considered 18Ranger/1Monk/1Wizard, or even pure Ranger20.

But I am leaning more towards a three-class split. Part of the reason is UMD: I feel like high UMD is required in a Commando, meaning I need to get in at least one level of something that has UMD as a class skill; Bard, Rogue or Artificer.

A little bit of Rogue would give me sneak attacking and Evasion, but I will already have Evasion. So really, only sneak attacking. Which is not bad, not at all. Rogue enhancements could aid stealth and further sneakery but no other Commando attributes.

A little Artificer would give me a (very weak) steel dog companion that I suppose I could use for levers? Also, infusions for my weapons and armor, and +2 to my UMD. Artificer enhancements add nothing Commando-like. Nor does a Rune arm; a proper Commando is not going to be going on special forces missions carrying a vivid, whirring clockwork light show wherever she goes.

Bard provides songs, which do not strike me as particularly Commando-like, but also the ability to cast most Arcane spells in light armor with no chance of spell failure. The Warchanter enhancement tree has a few items of interest to a Commando, particularly Skaldic Rage (all the Strength, none of the inability to cast spells), and some cold-based weapon buffs that – as they are written at least – appear to work equally well on ranged and melee weapons.

If I go Rogue, how much? Just the one level to open up UMD? If I go Bard, how much? Enough to qualify for those cold-based weapon buffs? And if I go Bard, do I still need to have any Wizard?

So many things to think about.

What do you think?

🙂 😀 🙂

  16 Responses to “Rebuilding a Commando”

Comments (16)
  1. 13 Rogue, 6 Ranger, 1 Wizard.

    Why?

    13 Rogue gives tons of skill points from trapping to UMD, it also gives immunity to knockdown effects and boosts your Reflex saves a lot.

    6 Ranger grants many feats for free like TWF without needing a lot of DEX and it grants Bow Strength and Manyshot plus a few Ranger buffs like Jump etc which do come in handy.

    1 Wizard would give you a metamagic feat for free and access to low level wizard wands.

    • Thinking about it here is another option:

      12 Rogue, 6 Ranger, 2 Monk

      Basically the same as above without the knock down immunity but you do get 2 extra feats which is nice and low level Monk stances (unless you want to use up precious feats).

      To be blunt it’s hard to give you help because you didn’t say what you wanted the toon to do in epics, are you planning on playing in Epic Hard content or do want to be Epic Elite viable? Also what weapons are you thinking of using since if you plan on THF then going 6 Ranger is pretty pointless.

      • My guild does not play EE but i’d like to be able to PUG EE without embarrassing myself.

        Mawry has a uniquely fluid combat style that constantly changes from ranged to TWF, depending on the range to the opponent. She won’t be the best TWF or the best archer, characters that are dedicated to those things will be better. But maybe she can be 2nd best but still good enough.

        The biggest problem she had with this before was inventory, needing two melee weapons and a bow for each opponent type. Plus several piles of scrolls.

        • Since you want to be STR based I would say to switch to THF and use staffs due to bonuses from the Acrobat tree this would free up a lot of inventory space but if you wanted TWF then dual wield Celestia since they break all DR in the game pretty much.

          For a staff build something like 13 Rogue, 6 Monk, 1 Druid would be nice for the lvl 1 spell from Druid which grants +1[W] to wooden staffs. If planning on using Sireth then switch Druid to Fighter (Druid would give you Empower for Dragonmarks though which would be nice).

          In EE you need lots of defenses like Dodge, Incorporeal and Concealment.

        • Some of the inventory management can be mitigated by careful choices of (TWF) weapon ‘pairs’ that can multi-task. As an example, byeshk icy Warhammer of Everbright for fire-based, oozes/rusties, and aberrations (like Beholders).

          😉

  2. Artificer is another option. Endless Fussilade and Manyshot. Switch between repeaters and bows for ranged. Take Two handed fighting and the Bastard Sword boosts for melee. Rogue skills as well! Might be just what you’re looking for.

  3. 15 Ranger 4 Paladin 1 Rogue

    Great Saves + Evasion
    High Strength
    CSW for self healing

    1 Rogue then 15 Ranger then 4 Paladin levels.

    L01: Power Attack
    L03: Cleave
    L06: Great Cleave
    L09: IC: Melee
    L12: Dodge
    L15: Empower Healing
    L18: Quicken
    L21: Overwhelming Critical
    L24: IC: Ranged
    L26: Perfect Two Weapon Fighting
    L27: Blinding Speed
    L28: First Blood/Spell Power:Positive/Toughness/Double Shot

    Don’t dump int (12 or 14 base) and you will have enough skill points for Heal, Spot, Search, Disable, and UMD. +4 Tome will get you more for Hide and Move Silently. Paladin levels do suck for skills.

    Hope that helps you get what you want.

  4. First thought: Go with your gut. Only you really know your play style and what you want to accomplish.

    That said, I like your thought of a STR-based ranger, but at the same time, you know that “DEX is the new STR” (‘cuz, you know, you’ve said it yourself often enough). Not to mention the STR penalty with halflings (but I wasn’t going to mention that). With the right light weapons, a DEX TWF build is really nice – especially with some of the “Tempest” ENs. And of course you want to take at least some of the AA ENs, if for no other reason than to make your own arrows (if you were going to use an X-bow, then take 1 arty and choose “conjure bolts” [and then use a repeater, of course]. I am still hoping that the “Mechanic” line will eventually be able to somehow make their own bolts, too. Hey, I can dream….)

    If you are going to splash rogue, then I suggest taking L1 as rogue – more skill points to spend and definitely max-out DD; with careful skill point allocation and bonus gear, you CAN be an effective trapper, even in epic content (my 19 Ftr/1Rog/5 epic build can disable many EN/EH traps and even some EE traps. Does he ever critically fail? Yes, but not as often as you may think). I also personally like to have a base 16 INT on most (if not all) my builds for the extra skill points – but that’s me.

    Of course, if you take 2 rogue levels, you’ll have access to the “poisoned blade” stance in the assassin “tree” (it’s not a tree; but I digress…) ENs; extra damage is always nice. Take the 2nd rogue level “whenever”.

    I do not know what, if any, 3rd class I’d want. Even though I haven’t played a wiz, I can see where it might be useful, so maybe something like:

    17 Rng/2 Rog/1 Wiz?

    But I would re-think the STR build; I think you could still have nice DPS with a DEX-based AA/Tempest/Assassin/??/?? build.

    But what do I know?

    {Sure wish they’d let us have up to 3 EN “trees” PER CLASS, but at least the 6 class “tree” limit is way better than the initially proposed 3 “tree” limit. But I digress…}
    😉

    • Nice DPS might not cut it in EE content, STR is much easier to buff than DEX is so from a pure DPS perspective STR is the way to go but DEX does affect your Reflex save which is pretty much king these days with the amount of casters and stuff.

  5. Whatever you do, max your swim skill. No skill says “Commando” like a maxed swim skill.

  6. Sounds like you want something along the lines of my main character’s build (well rounded capable of anything though needing player skill to wring out top performance). My main is still 1st life even after 4 years as it’s my main endgame character, I have a ton of alts for other stuff.

    The build: 15 Ranger, 2 Fighter, 3 Rogue. All the useful Ranger stuff, Sneak Attack, UMD, cheap Haste Boost from Kensai, Tempest/DWS split. Mine is Human but it could easily be ported to any race, especially with the SA bonuses Halflings get, and I could definitely see Completionist just making the build even stronger.

    • Ofcourse, the 2 fighter splash also adds feats, and with the ranger auto-grants, it’s a VERY feat rich build – I have IMP Crit in all 3 of Slash/Ranged/Pierce for that extra flexibility with weapon choice, which would be easily cut down due to loss of a Human feat and adding Completionist.

What do you think?

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